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Old 06-17-2019, 04:37 PM   #61
whswhs
 
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
You're overlooking two to three entire generations, starting with many of those that fought in 'Nam under LBJ and Nixon, in those areas that were raised to believe the 1950s were a "golden age", rampant sexism and racism are good things, and that anyone not conforming to their social norms should be imprisoned (or worse).
One of the hazards of this type of setting as an AH is precisely that it invites this type of real-world-directed political argument. That's at best a distraction from the exploration of a fictional premise, which ought to be the focus of the story or the campaign. A better fictional premise would get people focused on talking about how things work in the fictional world, in ways that weren't necessarily predictable from their real world positions. You (the OP) could take a step in that direction, at least, by rubbing the serial numbers off a lot more vigorously: Perhaps by not using so many names of such famliar people, or perhaps by making them explicitly very different, or matching them up differently than they were matched in the real world.

Tolkien talks in his preface about the difference between applicability and allegory: In applicability the reader can look at what you wrote and say, Oh, yeah, I see that I can apply that to such and such real world situation. But in allegory the intended application is pushed into the reader's face, and the author makes it clear that they are talking about X under the guise of Y. And that can really distract a reader, or a player, who has their own opinions about X. So it limits your audience, or your market.

If what you want is primarily to tell a story about venturing into space and the rise of technology and wealth, then great! But it's not necessary to tell it with all the familiar 21st century political actors coming back on stage after you've had a completely different 20th century narrative. Explore a completely different 21st century, one that grows out of the backstory you've established! Just dump the OTL political establishment over the side and you'll be less likely to distract your readers from what you say the story is really about, or to put off the ones who don't share your political leanings.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:46 PM   #62
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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I think you are ignoring the cultural impact of the political protests of the sixties, especially those at Chicago in 1968. Those caused a sense that public order was breaking down that inspired real alarm.
That got Nixon elected by a razor thin margin. Nixon's 1972 landslide was the combined resault of the Left botching the Democratic convention out of spite and McGovern ditching the Unions. McGovern was a socially Liberal technocrat with no respect for working people and little skill at hiding it. Carter won because of A) Ford's pardon of Nixon cost him most people's trust and respect, and B) economic conditions, that he had no control over, made him look incompetent.

Carter got slammed by the same economic transition that squashed Ford. Add to that the fact Carter was a McGovernite social liberal with no real interest in working people until after he left office, and his defeat was certain.

Reagan had both luck and a charisma which never worked on me. He seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel. At least to most people. I was never a fan.

Still, Kennedy, if Mary Joe had lived, might have beaten Reagan. Space Exploration lacked a champion in the Oval Office from LBJ onward. Kennedy could have made orbital solar a glorious vision of the cuture. The big silly idea to bring people together.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:01 PM   #63
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Reagan had both luck and a charisma which never worked on me. He seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel. At least to most people. I was never a fan.

Still, Kennedy, if Mary Joe had lived, might have beaten Reagan. Space Exploration lacked a champion in the Oval Office from LBJ onward. Kennedy could have made orbital solar a glorious vision of the cuture. The big silly idea to bring people together.
I wasn't a fan of Reagan either, but describing him as not being pro-space seems eccentric.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:02 PM   #64
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Which is really the point of the ATL. You needed a real life politician who could have pushed for the dream and vision of space long before space started paying off. Otherwise, I do not see it happening unless Heinlein became president or something equally unlikely.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:24 PM   #65
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Which is really the point of the ATL. You needed a real life politician who could have pushed for the dream and vision of space long before space started paying off. Otherwise, I do not see it happening unless Heinlein became president or something equally unlikely.
Sure, well, I didn't object to your proposal to have Kopechne survive and Kennedy's political reputation remain untarnished as a starting point. My objection was to your developing that alternate 20th century history, with entirely different people getting into the White House (neither Kennedy, Glenn, nor Brown was ever even a nominee!), and then coming back to the 21st century and plugging in three people who all ran for the presidency in OTL (one of whom won). In the first place, it isn't going to appeal to people who have different political sympathies than yours, but in the second, if the technological, economic, and social history are that different, it seems that it ought to make a much bigger difference to who the front runners are. Seriously, by 2019, fifty years after the divergence point, the US ought to be concerned with radically different issues that would bring forward a whole nother set of candidates.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:08 PM   #66
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After a quarter century divergence, there really is no way of telling who would be where though. You can take any yahoo and put them in office, but it is meaningless really because it is just speculation. With that much divergence, anyone's parents could have ended up as President.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:22 PM   #67
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After a quarter century divergence, there really is no way of telling who would be where though. You can take any yahoo and put them in office, but it is meaningless really because it is just speculation. With that much divergence, anyone's parents could have ended up as President.
Yes, and so your picking those three yahoos, instead of some entirely different ones, unavoidably suggests political sentiments that not everyone in your potential audience can be expected to share. I think that's an artistic weakness. It certainly limits your audience appeal; for me, for one, the fact that I can see an obvious political agenda makes me think that your potential campaign would constantly be pushing political ideas at me that I'm opposed to and would be constantly tempted to argue with, as I am here.

I've succeeded in running a series of campaigns for players who've been loyal, sometimes, for decades, despite their mostly being California progressives who know that I oppose much of what they believe, because I don't push my political sympathies at them. I recommend that practice to GMs.

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Old 06-17-2019, 09:02 PM   #68
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

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After a quarter century divergence, there really is no way of telling who would be where though. You can take any yahoo and put them in office, but it is meaningless really because it is just speculation. With that much divergence, anyone's parents could have ended up as President.
Joe Walsh - singer and guitarist for the Eagles as well as a successful solo career - ran for President one year. Maybe he'd run again after 2000 and get a better showing . . . .

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Yes, and so your picking those three yahoos, instead of some entirely different ones, unavoidably suggests political sentiments that not everyone in your potential audience can be expected to share. I think that's an artistic weakness. It certainly limits your audience appeal; for me, for one, the fact that I can see an obvious political agenda makes me think that your potential campaign would constantly be pushing political ideas at me that I'm opposed to and would be constantly tempted to argue with, as I am here.

I've succeeded in running a series of campaigns for players who've been loyal, sometimes, for decades, despite their mostly being California progressives who know that I oppose much of what they believe, because I don't push my political sympathies at them. I recommend that practice to GMs.
Likewise, although I mostly agree with the overall premise (faster space progress), though I disagree with many of the methods involved (which I will not get into at the moment), the lack and even dismissal of the opposing viewpoint is probably as jarring to me as it is to Bill. I would not want to game in this setting because it's trying too hard to be "perfect" according to one corner of the political square.

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Old 06-18-2019, 01:46 AM   #69
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Default Re: Sol-1 [Infinite Worlds]

One major issue that's getting glossed over is that if you are moving a substantial chunk of a major industry to space, let alone several of them, in the absence of a magic launch technology it's necessarily heavily automated - you can't afford to ship blue collar workers to orbit. If that's making lots of money it won't stay in orbit either. Some sort of nod to the problem of massive unemployment seems like something you should be including, particularly in a setting that seems so heavily politically left leaning.

That suggestion upthread of an Alaska Permanent Fund sort of scheme might be a reasonable start - "Basic Income" concepts do seem like one of the ideas that are often floated for dealing with this - though it's presumably not modelled on Alaska, which being based in oil revenue presumably isn't doing that well in this timeline.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:49 AM   #70
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Why would you not be shipping people into space? The old NASA designs would require a substantial presence in space to assemble and maintain the orbital space array. With every person in space, you need other people to support them, with every person added reducing the average cost of sustaining everyone by a little bit.

In addition, cheaper energy, cheaper materials, and higher quality materials mean more jobs on the Earth, so the space economy adds to the overall economy, it does not replace it. In the stated scenario, the US economy is larger because there are less inefficiencies caused by excessive banking deregulation, excessive health care spending, and regressive tax cuts. In addition, the distribution of wealth is more equal, as the several rounds of tax cuts that favored the wealthy would have not occurred.

For example, without the banking deregulation and tax cuts that favored venture capital, and without the exemption from state sales taxes that favored online retailers since there would have been a different Supreme Court by the time of the relevant decisions, online companies like Amazon would have never grown beyond niche sellers. With more aggressive union support and more aggressive support for unions, as well as a slower development of computers, America would not have allowed companies to outsource jobs to China, India, etc. The American economy in 2020 would resemble more the American economy of 1960, with the vast majority of products bought in America being made in America, and they would be bought from traditional retailers.

Of course, some areas in America would absolutely suck. The coal industry would have collapsed by 2010, and the oil and gas industry would be on their last legs in 2020. States like Alaska and West Virginia would depopulation as there would be nothing for anyone to do, so they would migrate to urban centers. With the larger population experiencing economic equality and greater prosperity though, there would not really be much political support for Basic Income, though there may be more generous social welfare programs for the disabled, elderly, and unfortunate.
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